The EUIPO, through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, and together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes studies and research on the global trade in counterfeit and pirated products, analysing the impact on the economy, and the share of international trade affected by the phenomenon.

The latest study in the series, Global Trade in Fakes: A Worrying Threat, analyses the scale of the worldwide trade in counterfeit goods. It is an update of two previous studies on this subject, published in 2016 and 2019, respectively. This third study is based on most recent customs seizures data available, for the year 2019.

 

Illicit trade in counterfeit and pirated goods poses a major challenge to an innovation-driven global economy. It damages economic growth; poses significant threats to individual and collective health and safety; fuels organised crime; undermines sound public governance, the rule of law and citizens’ trust in government. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated illicit trade, alarming law enforcement in many parts of the world.”

Christian Archambeau, Executive Director of the EUIPO

  

Main findings

  • Global trade in counterfeits amounted to EUR 412 billion in 2019. This corresponds to 2.5% of world trade.
  • Imports into the EU of counterfeits in 2019 reached EUR 119 billion, corresponding to 5.8% of total EU imports from the rest of the world. The volume of imports of fakes into the EU is virtually unchanged from the previous study, which used data from 2016.
  • The main provenance economy of counterfeit goods remains China. Other important sources of fakes include Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
  • Footwear remains the most frequently seized product category, followed by clothing, leather articles, electronics and perfumery and cosmetics. Seizures of fake perfumery and cosmetics and toys and games more than doubled between 2016 and 2019.
 
Resources
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